Straight off the boat, plane, and roads from Newquay, competitors rocked up to Lacanau and unfortunately conditions continued to be sub-par, to say the least. But with almost 200 surfers entered in the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro there isn't much time to play with and the event had to run the opening rounds of both the men's and women's Qualifying Series contest.
Waves in the two-foot range broke right out front of the contest site and luckily a well-shaped sandbank delivered a few little rights and lefts for some of the younger surfers of Round One.
Erwan Blouin was the only man to really break the average range. The light goofyfooter took full advantage of the little sections and popped a few airs to drop two 6s and steal the show.
"I'm almost like home here I live close and I'm happy to do my first QS in Lacanau," he said. "I got through with decent scores even though the waves weren't easy so I'm happy with that. I found a couple that opened up for me and managed to do a few little airs."
In the women's, it was 14-year-old Juliette Lacome who was the most efficient surfer in the small stuff. Juliette was way more dynamic than any other surfers today and actually surfed a few waves to completion, as she racked up a solid 13 points total in these conditions.
"I was a little bit nervous going into that heat but I actually had fun," she said. "I'm not too pressured, I'm only young and doing the QS is all about getting to surf against the oldest surfers, I'm also seeing all my friends here which is great. I got that little epoxy board from Justin Becret and it works wonders in the small surf."
Perhaps the most entertaining side of things was actually out of the water for once today. The event has been recently acquired by Girondins Sport Events, the events and marketing company behind the French soccer team Girondins de Bordeaux. They brought a very professional look and feel to the event site this year and have come up with loads of beach activities for when the surfing's not so on. There are beginners courses in skateboarding, rollerblading, as well as demos from pros at the local skate park, and live music every night on the festival's main stage.
"Our goal is to open this event to everyone, by showcasing all the different sports that revolve around surfing," said Nicolas Descous, marketing project manager. "It has already been a great success so far with all the activities we put on, we had over 3,000 people attending our launch night, and now you can feel people are getting excited about the WSL event starting too.
"We have a lot of experience in sporting events, and even though it's a first time in surfing, there are a lot of similarities," he continued. "What we want is to embrace the culture and traditions of surfing, and channel it into the event to give everyone from the athlete to the spectators a great experience."
Competitors and event officials will reconvene at 9 a.m Wednesday to reassess conditions.
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